Eliminating Illegal Forest Products in Australia A joint forest industry, wood product sector and conservation group statement Illegal logging is a major driver of global deforestation. Global deforestation is responsible for approximately 20% of global emissions of greenhouse gasses and is a major cause of global biodiversity loss. The import of illegal forest products into Australia contributes to tropical deforestation, the death of orangutans, Sumatran tigers and other tropical forest species, village poverty and other adverse social effects, and undermines the financial viability of the legal forest products industry. As a result, we strongly oppose the import and the use of illegally harvested and traded forest products in Australia. Prohibiting illegally harvested forest products, in the ways outlined below, will benefit Australia’s legal forest products industries; assist in improving producer countries’ social, environmental and economic standards and well being; and show that Australia is responsibly addressing the problem. We are committed to ecologically sustainable and socially responsible forestry - illegal logging is not sustainable and eliminating illegal logging is a critical first step towards achieving sustainable forestry globally.
Australian Government The Government must take a leading role in stopping the importation of illegal forest products into Australia. This can be achieved through: • Establishing regulations that require verification of the legality of forest product imports into Australia. The legal requirements should specify the minimum standards for legality, and the requirements for verification and compliance systems • Committing to international and regional efforts to address illegal logging • In the interim, ensure the Government’s procurement policy requires that forest products are legal.
Importers, Processors and Retailers In parallel with Government efforts, importers, processors and retailers have a key role and responsibility to eliminate trade in illegal forest products. They should do this progressively, and in compliance with an announced timetable, by requiring imported forest product suppliers to prove forest product legality. A third party verification process should be developed and phased in that demonstrates the: • Forest product source is known and can be traced to the harvesting entity • The harvesting entity has a legal right to harvest • Legality of the chain of custody is not broken
• Forest product is legally traded (including compliance with CITES laws)
Australian Forest and Plantation Managers Consistent with these goals, Australian forest and plantation managers will: • Ensure they have evidence that they meet Australian legislative requirements • Advise partners and associates on the position taken by Australia’s forestry sector.
Australian Processors of Forest and Plantation Products Consistent with these goals, Australian forest and plantation product processors will: • Ensure plantation and forest product suppliers can provide evidence of legality of supply • Provide information on legality of supply to customers when requested.
Public awareness of illegal logging The parties to this statement will raise awareness of the problems and solutions associated with illegally sourced forest products to their members, associates and the wider public.